ILLINOIS (WEHT) – The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) launched a campaign to build awareness of problem gambling and to promote helplines for people experiencing gambling problems.

According to research by Health Resources in Action (HRiA), four percent, or nearly 400,000, of Illinois residents have a gambling disorder, and another seven percent, or 700,000, are at risk of developing a gambling disorder.

Officials say the campaign asks these questions:

  • Has the person ever felt restless, on edge, or irritable when trying to stop or cut down on gambling?
  • Has the person ever tried to ask people for money to help with financial problems caused by gambling?
  • Has the person tried to hide how much they have gambled from their family or friends?

“It is so important that we continue to let Illinois residents know about the signs of problem gambling,” said IDHS Secretary Grace B. Hou. “I hope this campaign will continue to raise awareness of the effective treatment and recovery options available to people experiencing problem gambling disorder.”

A press release says the confidential helpline is available 24/7 and can be reached by dialing 1-800-GAMBLER. Help is also available through this website and by texting GAMB to 833234.